Effects of Bacterial Metabolite Butyrate and Fiber-Free Diet on Allergic Phenotype in a Murine Model of Peanut Allergy
Food allergies have become an epidemic in our modern world. Between 1997 and 2007, the CDC documented an 18% increase in the prevalence of food allergy in children. Recent scientific research has turned to the microbiota, the trillions of bacteria that colonize the gastrointestinal tract, to explain this dramatic increase. In particular, certain strains of the anaerobic bacteria Clostridia have been shown to induce barrier-protective cytokine IL-22 and protect against intestinal permeability to food antigens. Clostridia are also known to ferment certain fibers from dietary sources into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), such as butyrate and acetate. In the present study, we sought to determine if these SCFAs facilitate Clostridia’s unique ability to protect against intestinal permeability to food antigen and thus protect against food allergy.